Determing the Value of AssetsWhat are your "things" worth? That is the question you'll be answering as you go through the divorce process. Determining the value of those assets will become the foundation of your final divorce settlement. There are many aspects that must be kept in mind when calculating these values.

The Different Values

When it comes to assessing value, your assets will fall into three basic categories: 

• Book value
• Replacement value
• Sentimental value 

A book value is determined by the purchase price of an item minus the depreciation value of that item. The depreciation amount could be equal to the amount of deductions used if that item was a business expense or as normal wear from use. For instance, if you bought a sofa for $2,000 that is five years old, the book value of that sofa could be as low as $800. That would become the value of that asset. 

A replacement value is what it would cost to get a new version of that asset. As an example, your attorney might bring up the issue of a flat screen TV. If you take that TV out of the house, then your spouse will need to replace that TV. In this case, that replacement cost could be higher than the current value of the TV.

With sentimental value, you are dealing on a more subjective level. Assigning sentimental value to any item can be complicated. You might feel entitled to a particular object, but if your spouse has sentimental value attached to that object, the value can go up. Your attorney could use this in the negotiations. However, this is a two-way street. If you claim sentimental value, your spouse will often do the same.